by JK, England
While I was having a long bath this morning, I took the time to appreciate how different my body feels lately. When I washed my feet, the hard skin that used to be on the balls of my feet has completely gone, the skin on my legs and arms and body is very soft and gentle, and my hair feels much thicker, shinier and healthier than it ever has. What I also felt was how much I can feel inside my body, and how sensitive (in a great and tender way) my body is to many things, such as the temperature of my bath water (not too hot or too cold) and the products I use on my body (for example, the ‘organic’ shampoo and conditioner I used today felt harsh and unloving – so I have binned it). And how I love to give myself ample time to take a long bath when I feel to. Boy, have I come a long way!
Fifteen years ago I was a junior black-belt kick boxer. I also cycled up mountains, did 100’s of press-ups and sit-ups as part of my kickboxing training, and regularly went jogging. I was, at that time, an associate director of a large healthcare organisation – and I used to turn up for work with bruises and broken toes (from the kickboxing). For anyone who doesn’t know me, I’m just about 5 foot tall, and very slight in build; I’ve pretty much always been this build, give or take a few pounds. I used to train with 6 foot-plus men for kickboxing – very few women got to junior black belt. I had a busy working life, working 50 to 60 hours a week and driving a round trip of 60 miles a day. I used to get so tired I couldn’t sleep, so I would buy a curry from the local Indian take-away and eat it to make me sleepy enough to sleep. I also ate chocolate and drank green tea to ‘pep’ me up when I felt tired during the day.
To many I was successful, with a great job, plenty of money, great home, sporty car, ‘high levels of fitness’, and lots of friends, as well as always having a boyfriend or partner. I was though, suffering deeply inside – from constant worrying and anxiety attacks (one of which happened in a restaurant in the middle of a meal, whereby I had to be taken to the local Accident & Emergency Department). I also had painful periods, so much so that after taking tons of painkillers – and where nothing touched the pain, I would go into the local Accident & Emergency Department to see if they could do anything about the pain. I also had regular throat infections, rhinitis, occasional bouts of asthma, and hay fever.
Now… here I am in the bath, feeling how tender I feel. I love my sleep (I sleep well), all of my ailments have subsided, even the painful periods, and anxiety is rare for me now. As I appreciate myself in the bath, I ask myself – how did this happen? How did I change from the kickboxing, stoic, busy manager, who couldn’t sleep without something to send her to sleep, to who I am today? How did I get to this level of gentleness, self-kindness, tenderness, and stillness that I feel myself to be most days? What triggered me to start to make these changes?
Firstly, I was facing a crisis in my own health and realised I could not go on in the way I was living. From that, I was searching for support and through an herbalist I consulted, I was introduced to Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.
I had tried meditating and many other modalities, such as shiatsu – none of which had really changed how I felt, or changed my ailments. When I met Serge and other Universal Medicine Practitioners was when I first realised that it was possible to make real changes in my life. I realised this because Serge Benhayon and the others offered me true inspiration. I could feel that they had made many changes in their own lives and were today loving, tender, gentle, self-kind, and deeply self-honest: this gave me permission to trust my own feelings and to give it a go in making changes for myself. And so, gently over the last few years, I have made many small changes to the way I am living – whether they be dietary changes, or exercising by gently walking and swimming, or ensuring I have the rest and sleep that I need by adjusting my busy schedule to allow myself time to wind down at the end of the day, and also by taking a rest day at the weekends. And little by little, by making these changes, I have felt my body changing as the various ailments dissipate and melt away.
What I appreciate in this is that it is me who has made all of these changes; that with an ever growing self-patience, a loving diligence and an openness to be more honest with myself, I have turned things around. Through my own willingness to listen to my body and express what I am feeling, I have made a deeper connection to myself. And, as I sit here now in the bath, I am the most tender, gentle, and most loving I have felt in my life. That is something to celebrate with a long bath!
683 thoughts on “From Black Belt Kick Boxer to Tenderness”
JK always an inspiring read! What this has shown me today is the amount of pressures we can place on our body and not realise that these things may be behind symptoms in our body as we see it as ‘normal life’, particularly as that is what is reflected by everyone around us. A lot to consider in terms of listening more deeply to my body and seeing what else may be impacting me to change, to allow more self love and self care into my life. Thank you, great read!
Appreciation of the self-loving choices we make deepen the preciousness and tenderness that we feel in every choice we make.
If you Jane, have been able to make that 180 degrees turn, everyone can, as many and many more people are doing it by restoring self care in our lives. Self care is definitely the answer to a truly healthy life.
Self love is the medicine that our bodies need, and the disconnection from this love is what is responsible for all the woes humanity faces, taking the time out of our busy day to self nurture, feeling the changes that have come into our lives along with the appreciation that this brings.
This is a beautiful commitment to yourself, definitely important to appreciate yourself in this, ‘ What I appreciate in this is that it is me who has made all of these changes; that with an ever growing self-patience, a loving diligence and an openness to be more honest with myself, I have turned things around. Through my own willingness to listen to my body and express what I am feeling, I have made a deeper connection to myself.’
When we are tender with ourselves in this way we value ourselves so much more, we appreciate and have a great respect for the body which allows us an ever deepening quality in our expression in the world.
When a child offers us tender moments we melt so why don’t we offer the same quality to ourselves?
It’s hard to believe now that you are the same person doing all of those things that would have required you to be very hard on yourself and others. It just goes to show how making self-loving choices can and does change our lives beyond measure.
I too once had a black belt – not in kickboxing but in karate. I got my black belt at the age of fifteen. Looking back I feel a huge sadness at what I did to my body. There was plenty of encouragement at the time and I was commended for my commitment and discipline, but there was nothing commendable at all about shutting off from my delicateness.
I was reminded here of the way I used to sit kneeling back on my heels when I was in Japan and how years of assuming this pose left areas on my feet with very hard skin. And other times when I have sat in meditation so long that I have had had pins and needles and even times when my legs have gone numb. Gradually over the years my skin has become soft again and now that I meditate for only short periods of time and usually sitting in a chair, with a conscious awareness of my posture, or even lying in bed, my body is feeling much more like it’s natural self again.
In a world where we are caught up in doing, doing, doing to feel like we are of value of any worth, we override the tenderness of who we are and the innate power that resides within us already. We are so much more that everything we think we have to be, and all this is simply just waiting for us to connect, explore and celebrate the incredible magnificence (which is out of this world) and everything that we are.
That preciousness we feel within ourselves cannot ever be compared to any of the lures in the physical world to be recognized. Absolutely no comparison, once I have felt this, there is no turning back but an unending process to discard all that has been accepted but is not true from the past to reveal truth.
The hardness of such lures of the physical world serves to numb the pain we feel from having turned away from our preciousness.
It is quite incredible just how sensitive and delicate our bodies are and what a joy to read how much you really celebrate and appreciate that within your self now. What a glorious sensitivity to nurture and one that is much more effective in guiding our way each day as opposed to kick boxing our way through life!
By letting of the protection and hardness, how beautiful to appreciate the tenderness you have now come to, Jane. Something definitely to celebrate… coming back to the true you.
It is a shocker to realise the level of hardness and protection we go into when we begin to allow more tenderness and self care into our lives. Without the marker of tenderness from others and a gradual re-building of it within me, I would have considered being tough (and sport like kick boxing) as normal life. In fact I considered it as so normal that I thought something was wrong with me for being so sensitive and I thought that I needed to toughen up to be in the world to cope. Instead I now realise that to be in the world, I need to honour my tenderness and sensitivity as my greatest strength.
Agree! I used to have to run on gravel roads in the cold dark mornings followed by sitting in a cold river on karate camps. Nowadays my feet barely touch a cold ground as I always have my ugg boots on hand.
That is very true Alexis, keep making loving choices, one loving choice at a time, and so we build a stronger foundation of love.
The only way to truly transform life is one loving choice at a time.
“In our essence we are all beautiful and it is from feeling this that our life and ourselves blossom and shines “. Living in connection to our essence is everything and reconnecting to this is our gift and celebration to ourselves and allows our vulnerability and preciousness to be felt. An amazing transformation and honouring of yourself shared here so beautifully Jane inspirational and so relatable to.
There is this beautiful part of every woman, as described in this article, that never goes away, no matter the facade we portray, no matter the accomplishments which later show themselves to be heartbreakingly empty, a woman’s enduring and ineffable beauty remains.
This is very inspiring- to feel that we can come from any point in life and when we truly want too, we can heal and bring a greater love to our lives.
Yes.. there is a relationship between being kind to ourselves and being honest. When we’re honest about where we’re at and what we need, we know instinctively what we need to start doing to take deeper care of ourselves, and it’s easier to put this into practice- just by allowing ourselves to feel and accept the truth of what are bodies are showing us about how we’ve been living.
Perhaps that is why we numb ourselves – to avoid the honesty. Because if we are deeply honest there are quite a few things we would likely not do. But one step at a time eventually gets you a very long way.
It is always great to confirm and appreciate where we have come to in our lives because of the loving choices we are making.
Great journey to celebrate, Jane. Years ago your were considered to be fit person, but fitness (the ability to do push-ups and run 10 miles) is something different than vitality.